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KUCHING, Sept 17: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth wing is urging the federal government to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in the next parliamentary sitting to assert the rightful status of Sarawak within Malaysia.
In 1976, Article 1(2) was amended to its current form without prior consultation or the consent of the signatories to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). Currently, Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution says “The States of the Federation shall be Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Terengganu”.
SUPP Youth chief Michael Tiang said Sarawak and Sabah’s position in Malaysia as equal partners were as good as engraved in stone, and there was no room for doubts and questions.
Tiang said while Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement yesterday that Sarawak and Sabah would be restored as equal partners in forming Malaysia was commendable, he wondered why the federal government needed to restudy the MA63.
“Isn’t it already clearly stated in the MA63 that Malaysia was formed by three founding partners, namely the Federated States of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak?
“The equal partner status was also clearly stated in the Independence Proclamation of Malaysia (Pemasyhuran Malaysia). That is indeed the original position agreed to by all the signatories of the MA63 in 1963. It was only amended in Parliament in 1976 without obtaining consent from the two Borneo states,” said Tiang in a statement today.
He said by right the affected state legislature must give its consent for such an amendment to take effect, just like what the Selangor State Assembly did when it consented to Kuala Lumpur becoming a Federal Territory in 1973; likewise, the Sabah State Assembly consented to Labuan becoming a Federal Territory in 1984.
“But no such state laws have been passed in Sarawak State Assembly in any way to give consent to make Sarawak one of the 13 states in the federation,” said Tiang.
He also suggested that the proposed Cabinet Committee formed by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to study the MA63 take steps to amend or repeal any law that erodes Sabah and Sarawak’s special position in Malaysia. This includes the Territorial Sea Act 2012 and Petroleum Development Act 1974.
“The said committee is also urged to review the history syllabus in our national schools, which teaches much erroneous information on the formation of our nation.
“If the PH government is committed to right the wrong made in 1976, we should start teaching the actual historical facts about the formation of Malaysia in schools,” opined Tiang. — DayakDaily